The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Dr. Susan V. Cashion, teacher and author of articles about Mexican dance.
Susan was born on April 20, 1943 in Pasadena, California. She was a former Stanford University dance director and a key figure in the development of the Mexican folkloric dance movement in California specializing in dances of Mexicok, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Susann was the recipient of two Fulbright grants, one to Mexico and one to Chile, and an American Association of University Women Fellowship. She received recognition from the Mexican government for contributions to Mexican culture and folklore in the United States. She was a former President of the California Dance Educators Association, member of the Board of Directors for Congress on Research in Dance, and Artistic Director of the Grupo Folklorico Los Decanos. In conjunction with longtime partner Ramón Morones she founded the Los Lupeños de San José Mexican Dance Company in 1969, which in its heyday in the 1970s enjoyed a reputation as the elite folkloric dance group in California. She was the dance coordinator of the Wenatchee Mariachi Festival in 2001.
She was a teacher of Dance Anthropology, Modern dance, Mexican dance, and Latin American dance forms at Stanford. She helped establish the first national organization of Mexican folkloric dance groups, the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos, which holds annual conferences. Susan received her Ph.D. in Education (Stanford University, 1983), MA in Anthropology (Stanford University, 1982), and MA in Dance (UCLA, 1967). In 1980, she received an award from the Mexican government "for significant contributions to the culture and teaching of Mexican folklore in the Unites States of America."
Cashion and Morones planned to retire to Cashion's ranch in the Jalisco state of Mexico, but in 2011, Morones was shot and killed on the ranch, reportedly during an argument with an employee. After Morones' death Cashion returned to the San Francisco Bay area and became the co-artistic director of Los Lupeños.
Upon here retirement from Stanford in 2007, Cashion founded a nonprofit organization called the Cashion Cultural Legacy, dedicated to preserving and archiving Mexican dance and culture.
Susan died on August 29, 2013 after being struck by a commuter train in Palo Alto, California and is survived by a brother, Michael. By the time of her death, her name had become well known among the widespread folklórico dance groups throughout the West and Southwest.
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